What a rich, subtle necklace this is.
The antique, calcified, tan Bi disc is in itself a wonderful piece. It has been carved with fine grooves around the disc. At 2 ¼ inches across (6 cm), the Bi disc is an important symbol to the Chinese because it means both harmony and longevity.
It is supported by two twisted strands of natural smokey quartz beads ( 3 mm) onto a necklace of large, faceted nuggets of natural smokey quartz (18mm x 22 mm).
Smokey quartz draws light into shades of brown. It’s like a wisp of smoke and as rich as cognac by the fire. It is a silicon dioxide crystal. The smokey colour results from free silicon, formed from the silicon dioxide, by natural irradiation.
These are interspersed with gold beads (15.8 mm) that are handmade, vintage (now rare)and from Afghanistan. They have been crafted in the traditional way of taking 18K gold and shaping onto brass and then hardened resin.
The Afghani have been crafting gold for centuries. When Alexander the Great came to Afghanistan, his people brought many skills, one of which was working in gold. Like the Romans, centuries later, a yellow, 18 ct gold was used. But one of the techniques was to take sheet gold and work it onto hardened resin and then decorate it accordingly. For me, this handiwork and yellow gold colour gives the necklace warmth and character and complements the gems.
At the centre of the necklace, there are two very special cylinder beads, handmade in Tibet, of intricate brass-work, and inlaid with cabochons of garnet (27 mm x 12 mm).
I have used a vermeil toggle clasp. Toggle clasps are easy to use and secure. My silver name label is attached at the clasp.
The necklace comes, like all my necklaces, with it's own colour co-ordinated silk brocaded pouch bag, made by a Shanghai tailor.
The necklace is 17 inches long (43 cm) with a 2 inch pendant drop (5.5 cm).